DJ JJ Boogie
got his start in the electronic dance
scene the way many others have, he went
to a rave and was so inspired he just
had to buy some turntables! But being
young and perhaps not having all the means
to buy them on his own, he questioned
his two good friends, DJ Sugar and UncoPoco
and they all went in together and bought
a set up, and the rest, is well... history
as they say.
Hailing from Ohio he has stayed there
ever since, playing his first gig during
his college years and went on to become
a resident for Spundae Tru Night Life
in Cleveland and is still maintaing his
residency at Ritual Experience, and Groove
Reactors Revolutions@Lava in Cincinnati.
Learn much more about this grooving DJ
and his love of the music and the scene
here in our one-on-one interview with
DJ JJ Boogie!
Real name: Tate Borcoman
Years spinning: 9
Music types: Progressive House, Tech-House,
Influences: Most recently Dave Ralph,
Donald Glaude, Eric Morillo, Satoshi Tomiie
How did you get started?
In the early 90’s I started going
to my first raves. As it did for so many,
the parties deeply moved and influenced
me. It was always the music, but also
the atmosphere and the sheer fact that
2,000 people could get together so discreetly
away from the mainstream and have so much
fun. After just a year, I knew I wanted
to be more involved in what was becoming
my obsession. My two friends, DJ Sugar
and UncoPoco (who would later start Groove
Reactor with me), decided to split the
costs on turntables 3 ways in 1995 and
that was it. Never looked back.
What was the 1st record you ever
The first two albums I bought were Donna
Summer (I Feel Love) the original on wax
and DJ Sneak (State of Emergency E.P.)
Where was your 1st gig?
My First gig was actually in college
in 1996. I started playing clubs and bars
in Cincinnati and Indianapolis. This was
mostly done for Dick Clark’s American
Bandstand as a resident and I played a
limited number of shows at a few other
clubs. I actually turned down an opportunity
in mid-1997 to be the national resident
for all of Dick Clark’s American
Bandstands. I did this all while trying
to crack into the rave scene. I broke
into the rave scene in mid-1997 in the
How did you end up in Cincinnati?
I left Cleveland to go to college in
1991 and decided I wanted to stay in Ohio
but get as far away as I could. Cincinnati
fit that bill. It’s a smaller market
that has possibly hindered some of the
DJs in the area that are incredibly talented,
but it’s a good city and there are
positive signs that we are growing.
Do you currently have any residencies?
I just finished being a regional resident
for Spundae & Tru Night Life in Cleveland
and I am currently a resident for Ritual
– these residencies are in Cleveland,
Columbus, and Cincinnati for the most
part. I also am a resident at Groove Reactor’s
Revolutions night at Lava in Cincinnati.
Do you currently have any albums
Vinyl - I have 3 albums out (2 on Groove
Reactor – Phased & Confused
E.P. and Slipstream E.P. and 1 on CryBaby
Records – Coma Dose L.P. There is
also pressing pending for something on
Funktion Junktion.) On CD or Compilation,
I have two new tracks coming out –
a remix of Prophetica’s 1000 Times
and my original work The Funktion of My
Drums is being put out by EMI on Global
Alliance Distribution’s Compilation
CD. I’m expecting to et at least
2 more tracks out this year.
Are you in the studio now, do we
have anything to look forward to in the
near future, maybe some collaboration
with someone else?
Right now, I am in the studio working
on a full- length, mixed CD of all of
my own tracks. It’s taken a bit
longer than I thought it would…I
think you are even more picky when you
are supplying all the tracks and not just
worried about the mixing when they are
not yours. It’s likely that two
of these tracks will be released as singles
this year on one of the various labels
I work with. The full length mixed CD
should be out and available nationally
on Groove Reactor by the Fall of 2004.
What do you think about all this
mainstream techno on the radio these days?
Do you think it is good for the scene
or are you 100% against it selling out?
I don’t have a problem with it
at all, especially if it replaces some
of the regular mainstream junk that I
hear. There’s always going to be
people who want to keep things deep underground
and those who want a more mainstream scene.
As a label owner and DJ, I look at it
more from a financial and even economic
standpoint. As an industry (and with the
CD Industry in shambles), we could really
use all the extra positive media attention
we can get – as well as the sales
that it can turn into. The more money
and exposure EDM gets, the better both
the underground and the mainstream get.
What type of music do you listen
to when you are not spinning?
I still occasionally listen to all my
older indie bands from the mid 90’s
– Pavement, The Flaming Lips, Sebadoh.
They still grab my attention. Less frequently
- classical, jazz, and 60’s and
70’s. I do not listen to much of
anything that is mainstream radio/MTV
today.Have you ever worked on a Movie
Soundtrack? I have not yet although I
would certainly do it for the right movie.
What are your thoughts on the scene right
now locally? Our scene locally is still
a work in progress but we’re getting
there. We’ve got some big names
coming into the clubs of late (Oakenfold,
Humpty Vission) and we are seeing a lot
of support for our monthly. But as usual,
we would love to see a bigger push in
total attendance. We’re getting
Do any favorite moments in your career
come to mind?
I do have a few personal favorites –
playing a massive event at University
of Wisconsin a few years back and following
up Micro on stage. He left me a rabidly
strong crowd so I plunged right into a
very hard and long mix of Gouryella and
Spastik. I takes everything I have to
hold those two down for about 7 minutes.
When I finally pull out of the mix, Micro
came all the way back up on stage to shake
my hand and compliment me on it. I was
just then starting to get main stage gigs
and it meant a lot coming from him. Playing
the WEMF in Canada in 2002 as well –
first time in Canada to play and there’s
not too many better ways to do it.
In the many places you have performed,
which venue is your most favorite?
Metropolis in Cleveland, Red Zone in
Columbus, Asylum in Springfield, MA come
How has your creativity changed over
the last 9 years? Do you tend to stay
with your own styles/ideas or do you allow
the mainstream to influence you and your
I’ve found that there are so many
new producers and DJs out there coming
out with new sounds, you have to stay
creative. Looking back, I’ve come
from a hard trance style to a tech-house
style in just a few years. I’m more
influenced by sounds that are "danceable"
- if that’s a word. Meaning, if
I hear a groove, riff, or drum beat that
makes me want to dance – that’s
going to influence me greatly. That’s
probably my main goal when I produce or
DJ, making people forget about what was
going on and just wanting to put their
drink down and go out on the floor and
dance for a bit.
What is your current Goal as a DJ?
I don’t have any one goal in fact.
I’d like to keep progressing as
I have each year. I’d like to get
a full length mixed CD out on a different
label than my own in 2005, for one. Perhaps
a few more international performances
in the future as well.
Where do you see yourself in the
next 10 years?
Geez – I don’t know. In
a ditch somewhere? Haha…I’d
be happy to still be playing out occasionally
for the right promoters and gigs and to
be concentrating mostly on producing and
running the label.
What would you be doing right now
if you never bought that 1st record and
became a DJ?
I think I would have focused my time
to writing a screenplay or a novel perhaps.
Maybe I’d still be going to clubs
and raves even.
OK: Last question! What, in your
opinion, is the greatest aspect of being
I think the greatest thing about being
a DJ is the free drinks. No, just kidding
– I’d say the thing I think
is the greatest part about it is the opportunity
you have to help people have a great time
out, forget their troubles, and spread
some smiles and laughter out there. There’s
such a good feeling to be had as a DJ
and as someone who goes out to hear a
DJ when you really nail a set down and
a true vibe is created. If you can do
that when you play out more often than
not, it makes all the work and b.s. worthwhile
in the end.
-- written by Annalee Stone